Presidential prospects: Alive with Pleasure

While it's not necessarily new news, the revelation in December that Barack Obama is a smoker has, in the new year, become more of...

While it's not necessarily new news, the revelation in December that Barack Obama is a smoker has, in the new year, become more of a debate point, at least online.

Obama's addiction, coupled with his presidential aspirations, has made pundits debate the topics of morality, commonality, and reality.

First, morality: What, exactly, are we expected to expect from our Presidential candidates? We are seemingly at a time, however, where past indulgences (Clinton's non-denial denial of marijuana and George W. Bush's struggles with alcohol) are forgiven.

Second, commonality: Many people smoke. So, could cigarette smoking become the new "hunting?" Could Obama's habit help with voters? Would-be detractors can't very much call him one of those urban health nuts now, can they?

Third, reality: We can't very much expect our Presidents to be superhuman. They, like all humans, have flaws. And cigarette smoking is, second-hand smoke concerns aside, not the Presidential vice most harmful to the populace.

Certainly, a number of people will pull out that old chestnut about leaders being role models. And, depending on how Obama handles it, the situation could be a lesson for the nation's youth. But, Obama should probably stay away from the tobacco lobbyists.

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